1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Manufacturer's warranties

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by White_Knight, Aug 15, 2001.

  1. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Just an interesting question that I thought of today. I was looking through websites (as well as my warranty manuals) and noticed that SWR, for example, only offers a 2 year warranty on it's professional series (1 year for workingman's series). Peavey offers a 3 year warranty. I thought that I read somewhere that Eden only offers either a one or two year warranty. Now here's the kicker, both of my Crate amps come with a 5 year warranty, and it's transferrable at that (though I think that some of the above are also transferrable). Why is this? Why does my cheap Crate come with a lot better warranty than an expensive, professional SWR? Sure, some might say it's because the Crate will need it. But use common sense, you don't buy a cheap product to get a good warranty - manufacturers know this and thus a cheaper product usually has a lesser warranty. The opposite is true for higher quality products, so why isn't SWR's warranty (for example) like 5 or 7 years or something? Just an observation that I had and wondered what other people think about it.
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    A 5-7 year warranty could imply that the product is no good. Some products have a lifetime warranty. Some manufacturers use warranty as part of the marketing package some dont. Assuming that I am write in thinking that Crate and Ampeg are made in the same factory what is the warrantable period for an Ampeg product?

    A maunufacturer will budget for warranty and the budget will be tight with the risk spread of the amount of units sold. So more sales, greater spread and the odd lemon costs are absorbed ie if you budget $100 per unit and most cost $90 and one costs you $500 who cares? So one way of cutting costs is to have a shorter warranty period and if your product is more reliable then fine.This is IMHO better than skimping on componant quality and giving a 10yr warranty.

    Most warranty policies do not include fair wear and tear. Most manufacturing defects occur within a year IMHO so extended warranties could be considered as psychological (sp) anyway.

    Well thats gone around in circles enough!

    interesting thread
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Companies like SWR and Eden don't need a Warranty to attract buyers. They are typically purchased by people who know want they want and why they are buying it.

    But those companies competing in the lower price point are marketing to a different customer. Typically a less informed, beginning player. Perhaps a notice or tinker-type player. Or students who have (or have parents who have) a limited budget. They might approach buying a bass amp the same way they would buying a TV or microwave. To these people, a better warranty means peace of mind.

    One would ask the same about why a Hyundai has a better warranty than a Mercedes. But they do.
  4. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Ah, interesting points. The warranty wasn't why I bought either of my Crates or my SWR. Sound was. I just found it as kind of an oddity. My Workingman's 10 is definitely constructed better than my Crate BX-100 (outside at least, I haven't been inside either of them). Thanks for the input.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Great question, White!

    Getting a longer warranty is one thing, getting someone to honor it is another.

    Do they have an extensive authorized repair network? And if they do, are the repair people going to play with the interpretation of the warranty?...."well, the cab you hooked it up to may have said it was 4 ohms, but until you bring it in and let us test it, I can't do anything for you." :rolleyes:

    There is a reverse psychology at work, too, in reference to CS and Chasarms excellent points. A long warranty period brought up front in the sales pitch scares off some buyers, especially at the higher end. The thinking is that a longer warranty can implies that the thing is going to be in the shop a lot. Who wants that? Higher end buyers are often attracted by reputation for durability rather than how little it will cost to get it fixed. They don't anticipate putting it in the shop, and rightfully so, considering the prices.

    Ever notice that the junky gadgets that are advertised on TV almost always come with lifetime warranties?
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    Whenever something has a really great warranty, I always figure that they are overcharging enough for it to give you two or three of them and still make money.
  7. 66jazzbass


    Aug 8, 2001
    NY, NY
    Are you guys serious? Why would a company give a long warranty on something that would fail? Crate amps don't sell for enough for them to give you even one replacement amp. Most manufacturers are losing money if they ever even see it again. So you're saying a Lexus is inferior to a Daewoo because the Lexus has a longer warranty. A warranty simply reflects the confidence a manufacturer has in their product. Short warranty = inferior components. If you're trying to rationalize a bad purchase this line of thinking makes life easier but has no basis in reality.
  8. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Here's a textbook example of generalisation and over-simplification, if I ever saw one! Using this equation, most of the high-end bass gear available today is inferior. Certainly not born out by my experience. I think Chasarms nailed it succinctly in his first post.
  9. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Warranties are like insurance. Manufacturers amortize the cost of warranty service into the price of the product. If the product proves reliable, the warranty cost per unit goes down, and the manufacturer can lower the price, take more profit, re-invest more, or any combination. If the product turns out to be a lemon, the warranty costs go way up.

    So it's an incentive for the manufacturer to make stuff that holds up, especially if they wish to keep their prices competitive. Some succeed better than others, though. ;)

    Some, probably most, manufacturers cover manufacturing defects only, while some offer "no-fault" warranties, meaning if you do something stupid like run a truck over it or set it on fire, you're still covered. That often sounds appealing, but it adds a lot to the warranty cost embedded in the price. It means that everyone who buys one pays a little extra to cover the "stupid" things. You have to decide for yourself whether that's worth it. How much would your auto collision insurance cost if you had to pay for it up front, it had zero deductible, would cover every little ding or blemish and could never have the premiums raised if you proved to be a poor risk?

  10. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Since Crate and Peavey were mentioned in the original post, I thought I would post some slightly interesting info. about their warranties.

    First, Crate offers a five year warranty on their electronics. The warranty on the speakers is two years.

    As for Peavey, you can increase your warranty from three years to five years simply by registering the amp on line. (I don't know if this is true for every new amp, but that was the case when I bought a DeltaBass).
  11. Amp quality and price has little to do with the quality of the amp. Both Crate and Ampeg are owned by SLM electronics. The warranty for the two companies is identical. Transferable, 5-year warranty which only requires your reciept as validation. Ampeg amps are of great quality, and Crate are too actually (not Ampeg par, but good stuff). I think it takes more guts from the company to offer a longer warranty, and I don't know about the long-term reliability of those other amp brands. I'm glad they have 5 year warranties. Makes me feel safe if I get a dud from the company by accident.
  12. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Thanks for the info re ampeg and crate.

    I for one am enjoying reading all the posts even if I dont agree with all the statements because its not a Fieldy thread.

    Lets throw another log on the fire!

    Has anyone misused or accidently broken a product and the maker paid up anyway? I dont mean incompentance but a good will gesture. Who has looked after customers beyond the call of duty ?
  13. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Thanks for the input everyone. CS, I accidentally fried one of my instrument cables and I was sent a new one. It was a Horizon, which carries a lifetime warranty. This was before I know about the difference between speaker and instrument cables. So yep, it fried. I figurered that I'd at least see what Horizon would say about it. No hassle at all, though it did take at least six weeks to get the replacement. Still, seeing as it was my fault, I think thats pretty cool.

    Now, you want somebody that doesn't look after their customers, look at RockTek. Yep, those el-cheapo pedals. Back when I first started to learn bass, I bought a Chorus and Distortion pedal from them. Awful sound, by the way. Anyway, they both quit working within three months. They come with a one year warranty. I followed the warranty return instructions to the letter and still haven't gotten the pedals back (it's been around two and a half years at least now) - and I even wrote a letter to them asking for the status of them, which never got replied to. Though that annoys me a little, I've just written the pedals off because I like the sound of my bass without effects anyway. I guess it was a $50 lesson, though I'll never do something like that again.
  14. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Back in the day when I got my first real amp it was a crate b160 xl with the 15" ev upgrade. With the ev option I got a 3 yr warranty. The amp was bulletproof but at 2years and 10 months I figured I would get a new speaker before the warranty ran out so I cranked everything including eq to 10 and the bass full up and proceeded to pound that thing for 5 hours before I even got a crackle out of the speaker but I took it back with warranty card and in one week got an new 15" ev and I sold it about 6 years ago and as far as know its still going today.Some of the goods with long warranties have them because they are more simple than others and usually the more complex an item the less warranty because of more things to go wrong. If you purchase a crate or peavey then warranty is important because your not buying them if your rich or just for the sound, so if its cheap at least it better be dependable because it aint gonna sound great.
  15. I have a 4x10 box with a hf horn, I'll keep brands out of it just in case. Well i've had if for a while and loved it . the store warrenty ran out a while ago so i can't take it back to the store. AT the moment it is at the australian distributors of the brand because i had a problem with splitting baffles (if this has happened to any one else let me know) any way, the fixit guy is puzzled because he cant actually pull the box apart to have a look. He also believes that it is a desing fault and what is happening, shouldn't ( the baffel board is spliting around the inner center screws of the tens and on the screws of the center horn.

    however, he's currently emailing the US company, as he belives i should just recieve a new box for free because it's a flaw in the design.....yeah for me.

    so if it's a true design fault, is it warrantied for life or am i just lucky?

    I'll keep you posted of the out come. (which may take a month i've been told)
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Design flaw is a very subjective thing. It could just as easily be that it is because of use of inferior materials or about 100 other things.

    Makers typically use language like "free from manufacturers' defects." And they guarantee "materials and craftsmanship." If is within the warranty period, they'll probably fix it. If not, they could easily tell you to get bent. They may fix it anyway.

    But there is nothing that I am aware of the makes a design flaw extend a warranty. That would open up too big a can of worms. Afterall, it could be argued that a vast majority of systems failures are related to design flaws. That's the nature of progress. That's why we keep striving to build a better mouse trap.

  17. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    You can get into wonderful discussions when you use 'unfit for purpose'.

    The manufacturing defect with the warranty period is correct. However a maker will make certain exceptions.

    Whitester-if you get the repair done free I would say that it is a goodwill gesture and not a lifetime warranty. Also the dealer has been instrumental in fighting your case so buy him a beer or biscuits, whatever.

    Chasarms the design flaw front is a tricky one. Sometimes makers will know of a defect but only fix it if it goes wrong. Warranty is not preventative maintenance (or is it?)

Share This Page